Three destinations join oneworld’s network, in North America and Turkey: Another two destinations in North America are to join the oneworld network While regional affiliate American Eagle is opening service to new gateways in the USA , while fellow affiliate BMED launches the first non-stops between London and the Turkish capital Ankara.
American Eagle will start flights from 3 April between its Dallas/Fort Worth hub and:
* Charleston, South Carolina, with an initial two daily Embraer 145 regional jets. With the three-letter IATA code CHS, the historic coastal city is a leading tourist destination, with some of the world’s finest golf courses on its doorstep.
* Lafayette, Louisiana, with an initial three non-stops a day, using 34-seat Saab 340 turboprops. With the three-letter IATA code LFT, it will be the fourth destination served in Louisiana by the alliance.
BMED, which flies as a British Airways franchisee, will inaugurate flights to Ankara from London Heathrow Ankara from 26 March with an initial six services a week, rising to daily from July.
With the IATA code ESB, Ankara will be the fourth destination in Turkey on the oneworld map, joining Istanbul, Ismir and Dalaman.
The new additions take the oneworld network to 609 destinations in some 135 countries worldwide.
Iberia to upgrade business class on European routes:Iberia is to upgrade the business cabin on its European fleet - after reporting 20 per cent growth in premium on its longhaul routes since it introduced its new Business Plus product in that market eight months ago.
In Europe, it will introduced newly designed seats upholstered in leather, and offering more room, as part of a complete redesign for the cabin interior. Leading Spanish chef Sergi Arola will work with the airline to develop new in-flight catering.
Affiliate LAN Peru serves Sao Paulo from Los Angeles: oneworld affiliate LAN Peru, part of the LAN alliance, is to link Los Angeles with Sao Paulo with four direct Boeing 767 flights a week from 22 March, with a transit stop in each direction at the airline’s Lima hub.
Its Vice-President Vlamir Domic said: “This new direct service offers passengers one of the best available options for traveling from the US west coast to Brazil, and is also the ideal route for those traveling from Asia.” LAN Peru will also connect LAX with Sao Paulo on two more days of the week, but passengers will need to change aircraft at Lima on these services.
Iberia links La Coruna with London and opens new French connection: Iberia has launched flights between La Coruna and London Heathrow.
They replace the airline’s services to the UK capital from Santiago de Compostela. Meanwhile affiliate Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum has launched flights between its Madrid hub and Nantes, with initial daily frequencies by 50-seat CRJ200s. The French city was already served with British Airways flights.
Finnair ups frequencies to Poland and St Petersburg: Finnair is doubling its flights to Poland, with the launch of twice-weekly flights to Krakow from 13 April, as previously announced, and adding five weekly frequencies between its Helsinki hub and Warsaw from 26 March.
The new flights on both routes will be operated by the airline’s Embraer 170 regional jets. Finnair is also adding another three weekly flights to St Petersburg, giving a total of ten services a week to and from its Helsinki home from May.
BA Connect makes reaching UK regions better value: British Airways is relaunching its services from the UK regions. It subsidiary operating these routes has been rebranded BA Connect and from 26 March it will offer a single-class cabin and buy-on-board catering - with ticket prices cut by more than 40 per cent and its fare structure simplified significantly.
Managing Director British David Evans said: “This will set us apart in this fiercely competitive market. We have an innovative service promise for business and short-break leisure air travellers, offering year-round, one-way prices that match the no-frills airlines and the added service promise and resources of an airline of British Airways’ size and stature.” It will operate, as a oneworld affiliate, from 14 UK regional airports to a total of 32 destinations within the UK and continental Europe.
AA launches marketing campaign to support Dallas Love Field launch: American Airlines has launched a massive marketing campaign to support its launch of services from Dallas Love Field to Kansas City, St Louis, Austin and San Antonio next month, with offers of extra AAdvantage bonus miles. For details, see aa.com
Iberia passengers from London Heathrow can now check-in on-line: Passengers flying from London Heathrow on Iberia can now check themselves in and receive their boarding cards on-line from any computer with internet access.
The airline already offers this option for flights from Spain - and is now the only the third of all 92 airlines flying from the UK gateway to provide this check-in option.
Cathay Pacific named Airline of the Year: Cathay Pacific is maintaining oneworld’s award-winning ways by being named Airline of the Year 2006 by Air Transport World (ATW), one of the leading US-based monthly magazine covering the global aviation industry.
It described oneworld’s Hong Kong-based partner as being “respected and admired among peers for its unwavering commitment to safety, technical excellence and customer service”.
ATW has presented the award every year since 1974 - with oneworld carriers earning it more times than airlines in any other alliance.